Lahore Bloggers Meetup 2008

A few hours ago, I came back from the Lahore Bloggers’ Meetup, held at LUMS today. Before I lose the motivation, and since I feel very guilty about being called a blogger with my posting frequency (1 post a month or so – that’s bad) – here’s my impression of what I consider the highlights of the event…

The event was publicized completely online, Facebook and Twitter created most of the buzz, and it was arranged in only 3-4 days. Yet, more than a hundred people showed up!

Many questions were raised and insights were shared – which will probably be shared on other blogs (the kind that have daily posts). What was noticeable to me was the energy-level (which was really high), the crowd (which was very diverse, with people ranging from 9 to 59) and the sense of ‘belonging’ and community that probably translated itself from the virtual world to the real world without much loss. So there were no hesitations in introductions and starting conversations – after all, most of us already knew each other.

Ironically, there was no internet, as the LUMS wifi was down and the backups that people had were not working either, but I think that was actually part of the reason of the event’s success, as most of the bloggers with laptops would have been typing away to cover it live otherwise, and the interactive sessions would have suffered (but that’s my personal opinion). So the lack of network probably resulted in a lot more networking than would have been possible otherwise.

I met more than a dozen friends for the first time, missed meeting many more (see you next time people and tweeple). I was told that I sound younger online but look older in person (which is a HUGE compliment for me), met most of the Lahore Metblogs team (yes, I have managed to write a couple of posts there, and so, qualify as an LMB member). Badar Khushnood did a fabulous job of organizing the event and moderating the discussions.

Though much of Badar’s focus was to inform the attendants who do not blog on how to start blogging as a serious source of income, Hassan Mubarik of LMB made a good point when he said that the original spirit of blogging was to say what you want to say rather than saying what other people want to hear, and making money out of it. As far as this (personal) blog of mine is concerned, I would totally agree with Hassan and applaud him for bringing up this important distinction for the record.

The tea session went on well beyond the 1 hour or so that it was probably originally intended to last, as people were so deep in discussions and networking that many were reluctant to leave. Many ideas were floated, and I am sure that many future partnerships were made in that short span of time.

I was a long-needed event, and I hope more events like this one would soon follow.

(This has been one of the fastest posts that I have ever written, so there’s hope for me as a blogger yet)